Promising Malaria Vaccine May Save Children's Lives

Phase 3 study finds it's not perfect, but could still prevent tens of millions of cases a year

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The authors are also awaiting 30-month follow-up safety and efficacy data by the end of 2014.

Calling the trial results a "promising advance," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine builds on already successful efforts to beat back malaria in poorer countries.

"The vaccine provided this protection in settings where there is ongoing use of other effective malaria prevention and treatment interventions: bed nets, antimalarial drugs, indoor residual insecticide spraying to prevent mosquito-borne transmission, and drugs to protect pregnant women and their fetuses from malaria's adverse effects," the CDC said in a news release.

Efforts to help prevent malaria in these ways are working, the agency said, and "many countries have seen decreases of up to 50 percent in deaths of children younger than 5 years."

The final results of the vaccine trial will eventually be submitted to health regulators in Europe and elsewhere for approval. There are no plans to file for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at this point.

According to Witty, GSK plans to make the vaccine available "at the lowest price possible," with only a 5 percent profit margin, which will be reinvested into research into malaria and "other neglected tropical diseases."

More information

Learn more about malaria at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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